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28 November
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World

Harvey Weinstein raped 17-year-old girl in 1994

Disgraced film mogul purportedly lured teen to his hotel room then greeted her near-naked at door before assaulting her

Lawyer Gloria Allred Photo: Bloomberg

/NOVOSTIVL/ A lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday contains previously unreported allegations that disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein raped a 17-year-old girl in 1994, court filings show. This article appeared in Bloomberg.

The suit filed by four Jane Does, now aged 70, 43, 38 and 35, seeks damages from Weinstein for allegedly sexual abusing the four women over a decades-long period, and his brother, Bob Weinstein, Miramax and Walt Disney for fostering a culture of silence and allowing the abuse to occur.

In a 1994 incident not previously reported on, Weinstein allegedly lured a teenage girl to his hotel room under the guise of a business meeting – greeting her near-naked at the door before sexually assaulting and raping her, the filing states. “Because she was on her own in a hotel several miles from her home, with no way of getting home without Weinstein’s associate taking her there, she decided to keep her cool and try to get through the ‘meeting’ as quickly as possible,” the lawsuit states.

Lawyers for the teen describe how after she initially rebuffing his demands, Weinstein cornered the girl and forced her to perform oral sex on him before he raped her. After the assault, the producer demanded her driving licence and said if she ever spoke up, he would “not only make sure she never got to act in any films, but also have his associates track her down and physically harm her and her family”, the filing states.

“She was thus afraid to come forward until now.” The previously time-barred claim against Weinstein was made possible by the passage of the Child Victims Act in August 2019, which made it possible for child sex abuse victims to sue their assailants even after the statute of limitations had passed.

The suit further alleges Weinstein trapped Jane Doe 1 inside a hotel room during the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, sexually assaulted Jane Doe 3 at a hotel in SoHo in 2008, and sexually assaulted Jane Doe 4 during the Venice Film Festival in 2013.

The four plaintiffs are also suing the disgraced producer’s brother, Bob Weinstein, their former film production company Miramax and Walt Disney for providing an environment where the abuse could occur and turning a blind eye for decades.

“As Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse of young girls and women continued for decades on end and became harder to conceal, the number of participants and facilitators continued to grow,” the suit states.

“There is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein was acting within the scope of his employment while sexually abusing Plaintiffs and, as evidenced by his repeated avoidance of discipline, had his behaviour ratified or concealed by higher-ups, managers and principals” at The Weinstein Company, Walt Disney and Miramax, according to the lawsuit.

Weinstein, 68, was convicted of sexually assaulting his former production assistant Miriam Haley and raping actress Jessica Mann on February 24. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James Burke on March 11.

The Pulp Fiction producer has been awaiting extradition at Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo, more than 480km (300 miles) northwest of the city, since March 18. He was reportedly one of two inmates at the upstate prison to have contracted Covid-19, within just a few days of his arrival.

Weinstein faces one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint in his California case.


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